Credit union marketing agency, The BA Group, creates much needed marketing analyst position

NORTHFIELD, MN (November 14, 2013) — Looking to expand and provide even more services to clientele The BA Group, a national credit union marketing and media agency, creates a unique and much needed Credit Union Marketing Analyst (CUMA) position.

Throughout The BA Group’s growth over the last 8 years, CEO Amy Herbig and President Terrill Herbig are always looking for ways to further enhance their services to credit unions. In doing so they found that marketing analysts were a rarity for credit unions, no matter their size. Amy and Terrill tossed around the idea of outsourcing a position that would help them utilize all data gathering systems, whether in-house or third party external. This would include point for tracking reports, ROI measurements, trend analyses, and proactive strategic thought, among other services.

“Every credit union has some current data gathering system(s) or potential to add more and well, at the end of the day, if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it,” says Amy. All too often she hears from credit unions that they have data gathering capabilities, but no one has the time or expertise to utilize the benefits from their systems, nor can they afford to bring someone on full-time or even-part time. With her extensive experience in planning and budget setting for various credit unions, Amy became aware of just how much third party systems charged for their data management and reporting services.

With this in mind, Amy and Terrill seriously looked into the Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) concept, in which The BA Group would develop a position of a devoted CUMA that would be shared between two or three credit unions for a flat, monthly retainer fee. This way, credit unions don’t have to pay a number of different analysts and data companies that would still require someone at the credit union to consolidate the information.

The CUMA works with their credit unions by understanding how different systems work together to achieve the valuable tracking results for which credit unions are looking. Furthermore, this model does not take after other agencies or a number of third party data providing companies by charging on an hourly basis. Rather, The BA Group sets a flat, monthly retainer fee providing each credit union with full access to the CUMA without having to worry about going over budget or being charged for extra services.

”For years we had been struggling to find a way to utilize the number of information systems we had to their full potential,” said Keri Rupp, former VP of Marketing for Coors Credit Union. “So when The BA Group presented the CUMA concept to us, it was pretty much a no-brainer. Now we can truly realize the capabilities we have available to us and rational their annual expenses.”

The only upfront questions credit unions and third party systems have had are in relation to security matters. The BA Group has privacy and disclosure clause agreements, but in essence, it is really no different than if a credit union had a CUMA in-house remotely accessing into a VPN system. Additionally, the credit unions that work with a CUMA can provide the CUMA with their own laptop, which the credit union can monitor and remotely access at any time.

The role, then, of the CUMA is to be trained on and have access to all data gathering systems the credit union currently has or eventually will have in place, whether internal or external. The CUMA becomes a part of the team at the credit unions they work for and are able to assist with upfront analysis, planning, file uploading, and data analysis, in addition to tracking and reporting the results of a variety of efforts set forth.

“Shortly after we completed a Core Processing System conversion, we looked at our new member and loan growth numbers and decided to finally get serious about strategically planning and implementing efforts that would accomplish our goals,” said Elizabeth Thomas, VP of Marketing for Pioneer Federal Credit Union. “We decided to adopt a MCIF system and dedicate a devoted Marketing Analyst to help us from beginning to end, and with everything in-between. It made perfect sense to incorporate the Analyst position within our marketing team as the two have a symbiotic relationship for success.”

Additionally, the CUMA is instrumental in examining information including trends, patterns of behavior, or key demographics. This helps the credit union make informed decisions about their market by providing an analytical perspective of opportunities that credit unions may not have been aware they had and managing both members and potential members from a plethora of data capabilities. This analysis can range from a segmentation of consumers to figuring out who is buying new auto loans to an in-depth look at the effectiveness of a specific marketing campaign.

Jillian Malecha, The BA Group’s first Credit Union Marketing Analyst, uses an innumerable amount of resources to provide key insights and recommendations on how to increase both efficiency and effectiveness in terms of credit unions’ time, money, and effort. What excites her the most about the position, Malecha says, is the ability to “provide a different business perspective to credit unions as people can get behind theories, but they can really get behind data and numbers.”

Currently, The BA Group’s CUMA is shared between Coors Credit Union, headquartered in Golden, CO (approximately $165M in assets) and Pioneer Federal Credit Union headquartered in Mountain Home, ID, (approximately $460M in assets).

The BA Group is a national credit union marketing, project management, planning and media agency based in Northfield, Minnesota. The BA Group brings together more than 35 combined years of experience in credit union marketing, media, and creative. The BA Group supports credit unions nationwide and can be found at and

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